A father and son who ran the West Medford Hillside Little League embezzled more than $50,000 from its accounts, including pocketing money from its snack stand, and left the league with only about $100, according to the office of Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. and league officials.
Stanley Komins, 78, of Stoneham served as president of the league for more than 20 years and his son, Stephen, 45, was its treasurer “for many years,” said a statement from Leone’s office.
The statement said that the elder Komins wrote $38,000 in league checks to himself between 2007 and 2011 and that his son wrote $4,000 in checks to himself between 2007 and 2009 and also wrote checks to an unnamed friend, who would then give the cash back to him, for an unspecified amount last year.
“This father and son allegedly used their leadership positions to steal from the youth little league, taking money that was meant to be used for the West Medford youth baseball community for their own personal use,” Leone said. “The defendants violated the trust of parents, players, and the community.”
Questions about the Little League’s fiscal status arose when Stanley Komins retired in October 2011. The board inquired about the operation’s finances, but he refused to provide any documentation. The league hired an auditing firm, which noticed “discrepancies” in the records, according to Leone’s statement.
‘I don’t know anything about it.’
Stephen Komins left his position shortly after his father retired, according to John D’Orazio, the league’s current president.
When the father and son turned over league finances last fall, all that was left was a bank account with $9 in it and a white envelope containing a $100 bill, D’Orazio said in a phone interview Thursday.
“They had run the league like it was their family business,” D’Orazio said, “and that’s obviously not what a league should be; it’s a nonprofit.”
Complaints were filed against both men Dec. 17, said Stephanie Guyotte, spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.
Reached by phone Thursday, Stanley Komins said he was unaware of the charges.
“I don’t know anything about it,” he said.
Medford police, who are also investigating the case, did not return calls Thursday.
A review of revenue from the league’s snack stand, which the Komins ran during games, found that deposits into league accounts were lower than expected and that Stanley Komins made deposits into his personal bank account of small bills and change during the stand’s seasonal operation, said the statement from Leone’s office. Stanley Komins also purchased items unrelated to the league at BJ’s Wholesale club using checks from the league account, the statement said.
Stanley Komins is charged with one count of larceny by embezzlement over $250, and Stephen Komins is charged with larceny by embezzlement over $250, uttering a false check, and forgery by check, the statement said.
In addition to the embezzlement, the league also inherited unpaid bills from the tenure of the Komins, including debts to Home Depot for $600, a $1,500 invoice from a landscaper and an umpire who had not been paid for $350 in work, D’Orazio said.
Since the Komins left, the league has used money from fund-raising, donations, and sponsorships to purchase a new scoreboard, speaker system, and batting cage, D’Orazio said.
“We wanted to clean up the mess we had been left,” he said.
The league has been able to recoup $35,000 of the allegedly embezzled money because it had an insurance policy through Little League International, which oversees all community Little Leagues, D’Orazio said.
The league has a brief notice on its website acknowledging the allegations. “We continue to work at being transparent with the parents of West Medford and ensuring that we create a league that the community can be proud of,” the statement says.
Medford City Council President Robert A. Maiocco said Thursday night that he was saddened by the charges. “I think I speak for a lot of people when you hear that,” he said.
Maiocco said that he knows Stanley Komins and that he performed well during his tenure as president.
“He’s always done a good job,” Maiocco said. “Unfortunately, this happened, and you just shake your head.
Mayor Michael McGlynn of Medford said in a phone interview Thursday that the city had no involvement with the financial workings of the league. Stanley Komins was a prominent figure in the city, McGlynn said. “He was very well known around town,” he said. “It’s very surprising.”
Stanley and Stephen Komins are expected to be arraigned in Somerville District Court next Friday.